General Mills Recalls Nearly 2 Million Boxes of Cheerios

That’s a lot of recalled Cheerios. (Photo: Flickr/Mike Mozart)

If gluten is a no-no in your (or someone in your household’s) diet, you may want to check that box of Cheerios in your pantry.

General Mills announced a recall of 150,000 cases of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios — totaling to 1.8 million boxes — because they contain wheat flour instead of gluten-free oat flour. (Wheat contains gluten.)

Jim Murphy, the senior vice president of Cheerios’ Cereal division, explained what happened in a statement:

Our Lodi production facility lost rail service for a time and our gluten-free oat flour was being off-loaded from rail cars to trucks for delivery to our facility on the dates in question. In an isolated incident involving purely human error, wheat flour was inadvertently introduced into our gluten-free oat flour system at Lodi. That error resulted in an undeclared allergen – wheat – being present in products labeled as gluten free at levels above the FDA gluten-free standard.

This mistake occurred at just one plant, in Lodi, and the Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios produced at our other plants were not affected.

The affected boxes have the following BETTER IF USED BY dates and plant codes:

Honey Nut Cheerios:

Yellow Box Cheerios:

The affected boxes of cereal are being retrieved from warehouses and store shelves by General Mills. If you have purchased a box affected by the recall or you have questions, call General Mills Consumer Services at 1-800-775-8370.

Gluten is a protein that is found in grains, including wheat, rye, and barley. While some people’s bodies are able to digest gluten with no problems, others — such as those who have the autoimmune disorder of celiac disease — experience symptoms when they consume gluten. For people with celiac disease, consuming gluten causes damage and inflammation to the small intestine. If celiac disease is not treated — by avoiding gluten-containing foods — it can lead to other health problems, such as Type 1 diabetes, neurological conditions, osteoporosis, and even cancer, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.

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